NEW YORK — Mass retailers expect big things from shoppers who procrastinate.
Drugstores and discount stores traditionally generate most of their holiday sales in the final days as consumers scramble to complete their lists, said Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreen Co.
Both Target and Wal-Mart promoted a price-matching strategy that included online merchants. Rite Aid came out swinging early with fragrance deals including buy one, get another 50 percent off for its Wellness+ loyalty card members. At Duane Reade’s upscale Look Boutiques, the chain featured eye-catching values — including a $24.99 Rihanna Rebelle fragrance gift set — within the pages of its glossy Look Book. Duane Reade benefited from an appearance by Olympian Dara Torres, who is a brand ambassador for AmLactin, at a bustling store not far from Rockefeller Center, with crowds forming as samples spilled into the beauty department.
Walgreens broadened its approach to gift giving, as did several of its peers. Walgreens’ 12 Days of Beauty effort, which promotes a different products during the 12 days leading up to Christmas, included Crest WhiteStrips, Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Nail Color and the Mariah Carey Lollipop fragrance.
Target stationed Boots advisers in its beauty departments to welcome shoppers. “This holiday season, our bath and body, fragrance, value cosmetics and nail-color offerings are most popular,” said a Target Corp. spokesman. “Exclusive fragrance sets from Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, as well as cosmetics from E.l.f., are also performing very well. Nail color continues to drive sales this season.”
In fact, buyers said nail is the main sales driver this season. Kiss Product’s Grace Tallon, senior vice president of market, said the nail-art category rises almost 90 percent in sales during the holiday season versus the prior month, driven by products such as Kiss Nail Dress, Kiss Nail Sticker and Kiss Nail Artist Paint Kits. “These items are perfect holiday gifts and stocking stuffers,” she said.
This year, the category will get a boost from gel nail kits. “Gel nail kits are absolutely selling for Christmas,” said Barry Shields, the marketing manager for Innovative Beauty Group, which produces Red Carpet Manicure.
Beyond nails, retailers said both fragrance sets and color blockbusters are more popular than the last three years when shoppers pinched pennies opting for single sizes. “Gift sets have often provided a somewhat stress-free purchase for the shopper to get in and out of the madness that surrounds shopping during the holiday season,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst at The NPD Group. “And it’s not just fragrance anymore. Sets are now among the hottest areas in makeup and skin care, too.”
E.l.f. Cosmetics introduced several color kits this year. “Sales across the board are very strong, up high double digits over last year,” said Joey Shamah, chief executive officer of E.l.f. “We’ve been really successful this year introducing higher price point and value sets with a high-end packaging feel and the customer has really responded.”
Price was a bit less of an issue in the personal care aisle, too. Yes To Inc. cofounder Ido Leffler said this holiday season has marked a return to giving, regardless of the price point. “In past years we’ve seen people holding back a little and this year people just wanted to give, especially with all that is going on in world,” he said, adding that the recently launched Yes To hair-care line has also been a strong performer leading up to the holidays. “The more you can show to people the better and that doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive thing. Here we do stocking stuffers in the months leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas, and we are definitely seeing that this will be one of our most record-breaking months.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)